Mom Who Left Children Blames Stress


Thursday, August 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A woman who said she abandoned her three small children in a library because she was ``stressed out'' was released without bail Thursday, and authorities reduced felony charges to misdemeanors.

Roszina Mack, 20, made no statement during a hearing in Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Judge Woodrow Lewis released her to her brother's custody. The judge also ordered a psychiatric evaluation and did not require Mack to post bond.

``I'm here to help her, to guide her,'' Mack's brother Kenneth told the judge.

Three felony charges of child endangerment were reduced to three counts of contributing to the abuse or neglect of a child. Prosecutors said the charges were downgraded because an appellate court has ruled the felony statute too vague.

Lewis scheduled Mack's trial for Oct. 2. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,500 on each count.

After the hearing, Carter told reporters that Mack is a good mother and that he has not had a chance to talk to her about why she abandoned the children.

``Right now, she just needs a lot of love,'' Carter said. ``I just thank God that (Lewis) just made a way for her.''

In a television interview from jail Wednesday, Mack said she tried to place her children in foster care but didn't get any help, despite numerous calls to several agencies.

``I didn't know what to do,'' she told WVEC-TV. ``I was confused. I was stressed out. ... I can only take so much.''

Mack was arrested in Hampton on Tuesday night, a day and a half after she took her twin 2 1/2 -year-old girls Breanna and Teanna Trabal and 8-month-old son Yabriele to the Virginia Beach Central Library. The girls had juice bottles and were running around when they were found. The boy was in a stroller and had a milk bottle and a pacifier.

Mack moved to Virginia Beach this month from Manassas after breaking up with the children's father, relatives said. She was living with her brother and his wife near the library, Carter said.

On Wednesday, a judge set an Aug. 28 custody hearing for the children, who were placed with a foster family after they were found.

Mack's brother said the family wants Mack or her relatives to retain custody. ``The children will be taken care of,'' he said.